The trip began like all other trips do for most normal people. With screaming. “Dad, PLEEEASE go faster!!” I lifted myself over the front passenger seat to check the speedometer. He was only driving 7 miles over the speed limit. We could totally make 10 work. How else were we going to make it to our flight in time?! We had hit typical 95 southbound traffic backed up not by one but TWO accidents. And our plane was scheduled to board like, now, as we were still barreling down the highway still 40 miles away. “If we miss this flight, we’re not going to Florida!!” The stress-induced drama attack was coming on strong. No more happy go-lucky butterflies in our stomachs. We were SURE we weren’t going to make it to the airport in time to catch our flight on Allegiant Air, an airline that only flies on Mondays and Fridays… and it was a Monday.
Fortunately, when it comes to Allegiant Air, you can kind of count on something completely random going wrong with your flight and causing a delay. We rushed into the airport to find zero lines at the check-in counter OR security. (We were still throwing our bags onto the scales and ripping off our jackets and shoes just in case.) When we passed the final check point to see that with just 5 minutes to our scheduled departure time the flight hadn’t even started boarding yet, we finally sat down and sighed a big fat sigh of relief. I was thanking the LORD that we had made it on time!! It turns out we had zero need to worry… because our flight that was originally supposed to leave at 4:55pm didn’t even start boarding until 5:20 at which point in time we learned that our plane had a “popped breaker” and the pilot had to wait on the mechanic to bring “paperwork” … that didn’t arrive for another TWO hours. We didn’t leave the ground until 7:15, which was the time we were supposed to have already been in Sanford! My poor grandparents watched planes land and take off for hours waiting for us to arrive!! When we landed, I called her right away and started gushing about how crazy scary our landing had been… the pilot kept tilting the plane and going back up and down just seconds before we hit the ground and apparently it was because another plane was just several hundred yards in front of us trying to land!! Planes are supposed to leave at LEAST a half mile between each other but I guess that’s what you get when you fly on a rinky dink airline into a non-major airport!!
Thankfully we had made it safe and sound to my grandma’s house by 10:30… we were so ready for bed! My grandparents live in a travel home so space was a little tight but that really made it all the more fun. Justin and I each had our own bed and after all the traveling chaos, we slept so soundly that first night! My grandma spoiled us in the morning with Mickey Mouse pancakes (something she’s made for me since I was a little girl), a pound of bacon, and her world famous fried eggs. We were SO well taken care of!
Justin and my grandparents’ dog, Curly, really hit it off… which is weird because Curly is so attached to my grandma and grandpa that he cries obnoxiously every time they so as leave the room. He would come out of the bedroom every morning and hop straight up onto Justin’s bed! It was adorable! One night he even tried to BITE my grandma when she went to pick him up off of Justin’s lap to take him to bed… it was hilarious!!
The first day we were in Orlando we wanted to do something not too crazy because the next day we were going to Disney World (and park hopping three of the parks). We decided to do Downtown Disney and wander around the shops, grab dinner, and see a movie. It was so nice doing something – just the two of us. We don’t get a lot of time to ourselves at home and it was a much needed date for us both! (Most of the following pictures were taken with my little compact camera… don’t judge! ;)
Justin standing in front of the Ace Ventura jeep… can’t tell you how many times he’s asked me to watch that movie with him!!
Cinderella is my absolute FAVORITE…. I always have to get a picture by her :)
This was Justin’s first time to Disney as a 21 year old! He ordered a margarita and it’s actually the only place he’s been carded to date…! Disney is the only place that’s followed the rules ;)
Before our movie we spent about an hour (literally) trying to decide where to eat. There are just SO many places at Downtown Disney that it can easily get overwhelming! We ended up choosing the Irish pub called Raglan’s and we loved it! The food was delicious and we got dinner + a show with river dancing the entire two hours we were there. We’ll definitely be going back next time we’re in Orlando!!
The next morning we woke up at 7:00am to get ready to head to DISNEY WORLD!!! I was so excited!! My grandma cooked us another delicious breakfast before we headed off!
This was Justin and mine’s first time at Disney World together. It’s something we’ve always wanted to do just never got around to planning! I’d been to Disney several times since we had started dating and always wished he was there with me so we could experience all of the magic of Disney World together. On Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 my dream came true!!!
We purchased a park hopper pass so we could hit as many of the four parks as we wanted. We were originally going to start at Animal Kingdom but decided otherwise because Justin really wanted to spend a couple hours at Epcot instead. So we started our day at Hollywood Studios to hit all the major thrill rides there first thing in the morning!
This next picture of me cracks me up… it is the epitome of excited. Please notice my ticket is upside-down.
The Tower of Terror!! One of my favorites! The park had just opened its gates so the line was virtually nonexistent! We walked straight into the elevator!
Then it was off to the Aerosmith Rockin’ Roller Coaster… LOVE this ride. We had grabbed fast passes for this first thing so we walked right onto this one, too!
The only other ride we (or really I) wanted to hit was the Great Movie Ride… it’s another one of my favorites :)
We walked around the entire park once through to see all the leftover Christmas decorations before heading off to the next park…
We then hopped on a bus to get to Epcot (Justin’s favorite Disney park!)
We went to Coke world first… you can try sodas from all over the world… some are pretty gross but others are pretty tasty!
We then went “around the world,” riding one ride in Norway and grabbing Lunch in Germany and dessert in France. We actually didn’t ride many rides at Epcot because we had so much fun just walking around!
It was then time to head off to my favorite… Magic Kingdom!!
I am in love with this next picture!! It is probably my favorite picture we’ve had taken of the two of us ever!
We hit all the major rides at Magic Kingdom and had lots of extra time to just walk around! Thunder Mountain Railroad was one ride that we grabbed a Fast Pass for and came back just as the sun was setting!
Space Mountain was another Fast Pass ticketed ride :)
At 8:00pm we headed to the end of Main Street to watch the castle light up and the fireworks show… this was something Justin had never seen before and the reason why we wanted to end our day at Magic!
After grabbing ice cream from the parlor on the corner of Main Street, it was time to head back to my grandparents’ house for bed… we were so sad that the day was coming to an end!!
Overall it was such an amazing experience to go to Disney together… it was definitely one of the happiest days we’d spent together as a couple!
The next day we had decided that we were going to spend time with my grandparents by taking them to Celebration (Disney’s little quintessential town)! And now we’re back to pretty “big camera” pictures :)
This bird was so funny… it let my grandpa come up and touch its feathers but squawked at my grandma when she tried to do the same!!
Celebration is so pretty… even with the overcast weather it was really beautiful!
My grandparents are too cute together… they’ve been married for over 50 years!!
Justin and I had such a great time visiting my grandparents in Orlando for a couple days. They were so kind and really spoiled us while we were there!! On our fourth morning in Florida it was time to head to Justin’s grandparents’ house in Ocala, just an hour north of where we were. I will end this “Part I” post with a picture of Jack, Justin’s parents’ dog… I have a lot more pictures to share from the second half of our trip later on this week!! :)